Government wants longer trucks

The UK Department for Transport just launched a consultation to test reactions to its plan to allow longer artics.  The aim is to increase their length by two metres to 18.75m but keep the 44 tonne top weight.  The DfT says this could increase the UK’s truck fleet capacity by 13% and cut carbon emissions by “around 100,000 tonnes a year.  The maximum length for a drawbar rig would remain at 18.75m.  Some industry observers said they were surprised by the timing of the move as the European debate on type-approved trailer dimensions is still unresolved and could still lead to a four metre goods vehicle height limit across the European Union.
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Go North East takes 20 more Optare Versas

Go North East has ordered 20 more Optare Versas.  This follows the success of nine Optare Versas on the firm’s high-profile Quaylink service on Tyneside and takes Go North East’s Versa fleet to 45 strong.  “The performance of these vehicles has been solid,” said Peter Huntley, MD at Go North East.  “We see them as the ideal solution for the plans we have for the next 20y new vehicles we are bringing in.”  The new 39-seat Versas have Euro 5 Cummins EEV engines, Chapman drivers’ seats, full protection screens and air conditioning by Denso,
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Home delivery vans’ “shocking” safety record

Britain’s roads would be much safer if vans at 3.5 tonnes GVW were no longer treated like cars.  “They are small trucks and should be driven, operated and tested accordingly.”  So says Commercial Vehicle Engineer, the award-winning online monthly, in a recent edition.  CVE was shocked by the roadworthiness record of 3.5-tonners run by supermarkets on home-delivery work.  Half of them fail MoT tests at the first attempt and more than half got prohibitions in Vosa roadside checks.  One supermarket is accused of putting on-time delivery targets, market share and profit before road safety in its home-delivery van fleet.  “Vosa should pay more attention to home-delivery vehicles and the government should to put 3.5-tonners where they belong, in the HGV testing scheme,” says Tim Blakemore, Managing Editor.
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Promotions at Citroën

Citroën says it has promoted Scott Michael from CV Sales Manager to Commercial Vehicle Operations Manager.  He replaces Robert Handyside, just promoted within Citroën to the Paris-based job of B2B Development Manager.  At the same time, Chris Jones is promoted to Commercial Vehicle Sales Manager, reporting to Scott Michael.  More from Phil Reed on +44 (0)2 086 684 048 or

CV Show debut for Ashwoods hybrid

Ashwoods will use its stand 4D10 for the CV Show debut for its innovative hybrid drive system.  The firm’s Hybrid Transit offers operators a retrofit system, meaning that they can green their fleets without the need to buy new vehicles.  “The system can cut fuel use and emissions by 15-20% and pay for itself in as little as three years,” says the firm’s Operations Director, Martin Kadhim.
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Stoneridge first with next-generation digital tachograph

Stoneridge Electronics says it will be the first firm to show a type-approved and market-ready next generation digital tachograph.  Its E5000 ExaktTM will be on the firm’s stand, 5C80 at the CV Show.  The new unit records driving time and non-driving time in segments of a minute rather than rounding up to the next whole minute.  This means operators can make “considerable” gains in driving hours and productivity.  Early trials showed a driver gaining up to 45 minutes a day in a typical distribution operation.  This should bring “major efficiency gains” to the road transport industry, the firm says.
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More orders for StepProtect

The recent TNB feature on Tesco’s decision to fit StepProtect to its new tractor units has resulted in more confirmed orders for Reversing Made Easy, says the firm’s Matt Hickson.  Pentalver is the latest fleet to fit the nearside blind spot protection system.  “After a two week trial, our 27 MANs were fitted out neatly and efficiently in one day,” says Pentalver’s Transport Manager, Russ Baker.  “We are very pleased with the results and the added pedestrian protection brings greater safety across the fleet.”  Reynolds Logistics likewise placed orders for ADR spec front step and trailer sensors, on the back of the Reversing Made Easy’s continuing free trial offer.
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MAN and VW to develop light truck ranger

Arjan Velthoven, writing in the Netherlands-based Nieuwsbrief reports that MAN and Volkswagen are “engaged in negotiations on the joint development of a range of light trucks between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes.”  Velthoven says the story broke in the Hannover Allgemeine Zeitung.  VW owns a 30% stake in MAN and a 71% stake in Scania and reportedly wants to expand its vehicle range.
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Multipart wins five more years from Isuzu

Multipart Solutions has won a five-year extension to its contract to handle parts for Isuzu Truck UK and its 50-strong dealer network.  The North West firm has successfully handled Isuzu’s aftermarket parts since the late 90’s and seen the volume grow steadily.  This should continue as the UK truck market recovers and Isuzu extends its vehicle range up to 18 tonnes GVW.  Multipart holds big stocks of Isuzu parts at its distribution centre in Chorley and dealers hold local stocks of fast-moving items.  “We are delighted that we were able to re-appoint Multipart,” said Bob Haughton, Operations Director and Deputy Managing Director of Isuzu UK.  “We’ve built up an excellent working relationship jointly providing outstanding customer service.”
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Little and large from Citroën

Citroën will launch its new Nemo light van on stand 5D130 at next week’s CV Show.  It will also show a Supertruck-bodied 22m3 panel, van on a Citroën Relay 35 chassis with a back-to-back cab.  This is bound to be one of the biggest capacity 3.5 tonne panel vans in the Show and will be a must see for anyone moving light, bulky goods and keen to keep clear of Operator Licence bureaucracy.  The new model’s optional rear air suspension drops the floor height to 370 mm.
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